I want to talk about a culture of Gratitude. We can have it. We can always improve.
The storms came rolling in Sunday evening, and the thunder was loud enough to scare our dog. So Abby does what she always does: she runs up on to the couch, curls into me, and lets me pet, stroke, talk to and comfort her through whatever sound/light show the heavens display. OK, so what? Nothing new there. This time, however, as the sound ended and the rains became a trickle, she looks up at me, (I’m a sucker for deep brown eyes) and licks my hand as if to say “thank you.” Maybe I am anthropomorphizing the event, or maybe she was grateful for the comfort.
Many from this community work at such a clip to help this parish community in its journey. We have folks like Paul, Stephen, Susan and Alexandra who provide music at St. Paul’s. We have Altar Guild women and men who take time off their own hectic schedules to make liturgical services look beautiful and run smoothly. You saw clean tablecloths on the tables at winetasting: thank Pat. You had an event run smoothly demanding so much hard work in preparation, and much of it done without a safety net of support: thank Laurie.
Financial storms are real for this parish, but thank Peter, Paul, Nancy and Jim working on a plan to upright the ship, and thank Jenny, Stephen, Brian, Claudia, John, Eileen, Peter and Cynthia as wardens and vestry who will have to make all the hard decisions that must be made. Thank Anne for coordinating liturgical ministries. We have four buildings that need TLC (and more) – thank Bill for hours here that you do not see.
My point: We may or may not have solutions to every issue that this community has faced or will face. We do have, within us as Christians, the mandate and the ability to display towards one another a gratitude for who the other is and what she or he does. I would never admonish anyone in this parish for being too grateful to other parishioners for what they do here. I wouldn’t mind overhearing the words “thank you” uttered more often. Be an “icon” of Jesus: embody within yourself the reality of gratitude to others for especially the unseen and unnoticed good works that they do.